Yep, when people ask you “What were you doing when you were six years old?” – that’s my answer.
I remember the day just like it was yesterday… My friend Emma (not E-Ditty, but another not as awesome Emma) gave me a ten cent piece for some reason or another, the reason escapes me, nonetheless I came to possess ten whole cents!
This ten cents was cursed, when I think back, maybe this Emma didn’t really like me, but knew of this ten cent’s tendency to cause trouble.
Anyway, I got home that afternoon and I was so happy to have ten cents I did what any other sane six year old would do… I put it in my mouth. I didn’t only put it in my mouth but I played with it, probably dropped it on the floor or put it in any number of disgusting places only a six year old would dare. So when I was playing with this ten cent piece I thought it a great idea to put it in my mouth then spit it back into my hand, toss it back into my mouth then spit it into my hand… This went on for a while and Dad came past with a warning “Stop putting that ten cents in your mouth, you’re going to swallow it”… THANKS DAD!! THANKS FOR JINXING ME!! So within a minute or so the prophecy came true. I swallowed it, which would have been fine if I could get it back up. Before I told anyone I ran up and down our hallway bashing my chest hoping it would come back up, all the while I was thinking of two dollars, I don’t know why, it was really weird, maybe I thought when I spat it up it would magically become a two dollar coin?
After a minute or two running up and down the hall I went out to see Dad and tell him the news, at first he didn’t believe me, and searched around the floor to make sure I hadn’t just dropped it. My uncle who was visiting then says “Daniel (my cousin) swallowed fifty cents once, he passed it no worries”, if anyone has seen the size of an Australian fifty cent piece you will understand the horror of that statement. I can’t exactly remember what happened in the next few hours as it involved Dad calling Mum at work, her asking him if he was sure I’d swallowed it, me having a drink of water and vomiting it straight back up, Mum and Dad taking me to the hospital.
When we got to the hospital I felt for sure everything would be okay now, doctors were there, they would make it all better, surely it would be simple for them to get it out? NO! No… They gave me an x-ray to make sure it was there and then you know what they did? They gave me Ipecac Syrup and sent me home!! Who does that? I think their logic was that I would eventually vomit it up or vomit so much I would die and then it wouldn’t matter anyway… I vomited the whole way home, I still remember that car trip, my poor family!
Now I don’t remember the time frame, but I hadn’t brought the coin up or passed it, so at some point (maybe a few days) I went to hospital to have the coin removed. They used a gastroscope with a basket on the end, but guess what!? That stubborn little bastard didn’t want to come out! They sent me home again while the surgeons scratched their heads and pondered how on earth they were going to remove it. After another few days or a week, despite considering slicing me open to remove it, thankfully they decided to give the basket (affectionately called a Lizard) another go… SUCCESS!! They finally got it! I remember waking up while being transported from recovery vigorously shaking the urine specimen jar that now housed my ten cent piece.
My first meal after nearly two weeks of eating nothing was ice-cream and jelly, I don’t think it had ever tasted so sweet!
The coin was stained black from the acid in my stomach and when I decided to open the jar it smelt pretty bad, but I decided to keep it as a momento and to remind me to never put money in my mouth again. I took it to school for show and tell a few times and I love breaking out the coin to show new friends or boyfriends, it makes for interesting dinner time conversation… ha!